Nelson Mandela?s greatness may be assured ? but not his legacy

Mandela, too, fostered crony relationships with wealthy whites from the corporate world, including those who had profited from apartheid.

By?John Pilger

Nelson Mandela in 1990. Photograph: Getty Images
Nelson Mandela in 1990. Photograph: Getty Images

When I reported from South Africa in the 1960s, the Nazi admirer B J Vorster occupied the prime minister?s residence in Cape Town. Thirty years later, as I waited at the gates, it was as if the guards had not changed. White Afrikaners checked my ID with the confidence of men in secure work. One carried a copy of?Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela?s autobiography. ?It?s very eenspirational,? he said. Continue reading “Nelson Mandela?s greatness may be assured ? but not his legacy”

When the lady ?not for turning?, turned

An insight into the realities of politics and the difference between what politicians say and what they do. By a journalist who knows more about politicians than most. Ed.

By Alan Hart?April 9, 2013

Margaret Thatcher
The news of the death of Britain?s Iron Lady, Baroness Thatcher, prompted me to recall my favourite story about her. In 1980, in the first of her three terms as prime minister, she said in a speech to her Conservative Party?s Conference: ?You turn if you want to. The lady?s not for turning.? Because I was personally engaged with her at the time, I know that she performed her first U turn in her first 48 hours of being prime minister. Continue reading “When the lady ?not for turning?, turned”

Al Jazeera: Bangladesh protesters demand blasphemy law

Hundreds of thousands of marchers call for law that would include death penalty for bloggers who they say insult Islam.

Hundreds of thousands of people?have held?protests in Bangladesh to demand?that the government introduce an anti-blasphemy law that would include the death penalty for bloggers who insult Islam.
Protest organisers called Saturday’s rally the “long march”, with many travelling from remote villages to the capital, Dhaka’s Motijheel area that became a sea of white skull caps and robes. Continue reading “Al Jazeera: Bangladesh protesters demand blasphemy law”

Al Jazeera: Turmoil over Bangladesh tribunal

On country’s Independence Day, Al Jazeera looks at issues surrounding war crimes trials that have divided the nation. ,??and?

Bangladesh's war crimes tribunals

Chavez?s latest K.O.

By Jorge Silva. Reuters

Before the recent election campaign in Venezuela, the last time that I had been close enough to Hugo Chavez to use a wide angle lens was last February when he left for Cuba to be treated for a recurrence of his cancer. ?That farewell began as a solemn procession through the streets of Caracas, with Chavez dressed in black, riding in a dark van with open sunroof and an image of Christ on the windshield. His supporters showered him with flowers on the way to the airport, as he left his followers in suspended animation, and his future full of doubt.

This campaign was a re-encounter with him; one that many didn?t believe would happen again. His cancer disappeared from the agenda, and Chavez was back. For his followers it was the difference between night and day, or the idea of a Venezuela without him contrasted with his reappearance in power, where he had been for the last 14 years. Continue reading “Chavez?s latest K.O.”

They can file a charge posthumously against Jawaharlal Nehru too

by ARUNDHATI ROY: The Hindu

Arundhati Roy

The Hindu Arundhati Roy

My reaction to today’s court order directing the Delhi Police to file an FIR against me for waging war against the state: Perhaps they should posthumously file a charge against Jawaharlal Nehru too. Here is what he said about Kashmir: Continue reading “They can file a charge posthumously against Jawaharlal Nehru too”

Reflections on Bengali motherhood and storytelling

BISWAJIT’S PUBLIC MURDER
By rahnuma ahmed

Zohra Begum, mother of Emdadul Haque; the latter has been identified from photographs and video footage as being one of the Bangladesh Chatra League activists who beat and hacked Biswajit Das, a tailor, to death on December 9, 2012 during a hartal called by the BNP.? bdnews24
Zohra Begum, mother of Emdadul Haque; the latter has been identified from photographs and video footage as being one of the Bangladesh Chatra League activists who beat and hacked Biswajit Das, a tailor, to death on December 9, 2012 during a hartal called by the BNP.? bdnews24

I
ALTHOUGH Bengali culture would have us believe otherwise, motherhood is not something — regarded by some as an instinct, by others, as a virtue — that is timeless and unchanging. It is social and historical. Continue reading “Reflections on Bengali motherhood and storytelling”

Protest against hike in energy prices

By Monirul Alam/The Daily Prothom Alo
Text: bdnews24.com
Police on Sunday foiled an attempt by the demonstrators of various left organisations to besiege the Ministry of Energy in protest against the hike in energy prices.
Witnesses said at least three activists were injured when police charged batons at them.
Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), Socialist Party of Bangladesh (SPB) and Gonotantrik Baam Morcha activists attempted to march towards the ministry from the Press Club area at around 11am, but the police blocked the roads by placing barricades at the secretariat-press club link road.
Protestors attempted to break through but the police charged batons and lobbed tear gas shells to dispersed them.

DEC 30 2012 Dhaka.Bangladesh.The left-leaning parties Gonotantrik Bam Morcha, Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), Socialist Party of Bangladesh (SPB) marching towards the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources on Sunday Dhaka to protest against the plans to hike energy prices. At least 10 activists were injured during a clash with police. ? Monirul Alam
The left-leaning parties Gonotantrik Bam Morcha, Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), Socialist Party of Bangladesh (SPB) marched towards the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources on Sunday Dhaka to protest against the plans to hike energy prices. At least 10 activists were injured during clashes with police. 30th December 2012. Dhaka. Bangladesh ? Monirul Alam

An activist show their party flag and poster in front of press club.  The left-leaning parties Gonotantrik Bam Morcha, Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), Socialist Party of Bangladesh (SPB) marching towards the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources on Sunday Dhaka to protest against the plans to hike energy prices. At least 10 activists were injured during a clash with police. 30th December 2012 Dhaka.Bangladesh.  ? Monirul Alam
An activist shows the party flag and poster in front of press club. The left-leaning parties Gonotantrik Bam Morcha, Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), Socialist Party of Bangladesh (SPB) marched towards the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources on Sunday Dhaka to protest against the plans to hike energy prices. At least 10 activists were injured during clashes with police. 30th December 2012 Dhaka.Bangladesh. ? Monirul Alam
Continue reading “Protest against hike in energy prices”

An ode to Biswajit

Freedom fighter at Suhrwardy Uddyan. 26th March 2012. Dhaka. Bangladesh. Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

He stopped at every print. Getting close to scrutinise every character, pausing more at some that perhaps stirred a memory. He smiled broadly when I approached him. ?eto amar chobi tulsen? (it is me you?ve photographed) he said. This was his war. He remembered the pain the terror, the joy. He had never applied for registration. No card, no land, no perks. He had never been asked to speak at a dais extolling his glory. Victory being won, he had drifted out the way he had drifted in.

He was a Baul singer, living off the alms given by visitors to Suhrwardy Uddayan, where the deed of surrender had been signed on the 16th December 1971. He had no regrets for his lack of wealth, or for not having had his share of the spoils of war. It was our departure from the values that had driven him and his fellow muktijodhdhas (freedom fighters) that saddened him. He had a great love for Mujib, and felt we had let him down.

Continue reading “An ode to Biswajit”

Airport blues

The hartal (general strike) today put a spoke in the works. Our driver Joshim needed to drop me off at the airport and be back at base before sunrise. The young tailor Biswajit Das having been brutally murdered in full view of the police and the media, meant we could take no chances. Joshim had been sleeping downstairs in order to be at ours at such a ridiculous hour. Rahnuma rang him at 4:00 am, and soon a groggy Joshim, Rahnuma and I were off to the airport. Rahnuma and I have never had the luxury of seeing each other off, but it didn’t feel safe for Joshim to be heading home on his own. So Rahnuma volunteered to be body guard on the return trip.

Passengers walking to the Shahjalal International Airport. Early morning, Tuesday the 11th December 2012. Dhaka. Bangladesh. Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

There was no traffic. At least none that we could see through the incredibly dense fog. The headlights made things worse with the fog itself being lit up by the headlight and shining the light right back at us. Without the headlights, once could at least barely make out the edges of the road. The risk of being beaten up by thugs in the street, had been replaced by the risk of getting run over by a fog blinded truck. At least we had a vehicle of our own and the option of travelling as we pleased. Continue reading “Airport blues”